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Hungary parliament approves EU budget pact

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(BUDAPEST) - The Hungarian parliament on Monday easily passed a resolution which will allow Budapest to sign up to a new European Union budget pact, agreed by most of the bloc's 27 members.

The resolution passed with 304 votes, including the ruling Fidesz party and the opposition socialists. The far right Jobbik party voted, with 42 members, against the resolution and the Greens abstained.

The budget pact, which EU leaders agreed in principle in December, calls for signatories to add a "golden rule" requiring balanced budgets to their national constitutions.

The pact is to apply at the very minimum to the 17 eurozone members, as well as any other EU countries that want to adhere to it. All have said they were willing to discuss it, except Britain.

However Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas last month pronounced a "clear no" to the pact.

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban had initially rejected joining the budgetary pact, before finally agreeing to sign on arguing that its strictures would only be implemented after Hungary joined the eurozone.

In parliament, Orban said "all points in the pact" were acceptable to Hungary.

The budget measures are set to be implemented on January 1, 2013.


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